According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace injuries have a major impact on an organization’s bottom line, causing the employer to bear expenses related to workers’ compensation, medical treatment, legal services, repairing damaged property and so on.
Personal injury lawsuits are convoluted, putting your business at a risk of fines and expensive lawsuits. Moreover, personal injury laws differ in every state in terms of the type of injuries they cover and the reimbursements offered.
For instance, the law enables personal injury lawyers in Chicago to cover everything, from the carpal tunnel syndrome in offices to spinal cord injuries on manufacturing and construction sites. Thus, victims of a workplace accident have everything to gain.
Consequently, it is important for business owners to promote an environment of safety and security in the workplace, thereby reducing the total number of personal injury claims.
Here are five effective tips that will help you protect your business from personal injury claims.
1. Pre-empt Workplace Accidents
Accidents in a workplace are erratic and unpredictable. Therefore, it is wise to pre-empt the potential safety risks and implement measures to avoid dealing with the aftermath of an injury episode.
Every business has a unique set of safety concerns that need to be addressed in time. Identify and tackle the safety vulnerabilities for your business and develop strategies to avoid such setbacks.
A business owner is responsible for the maintenance of the office premises and equipment. Hire a building inspector to identify and fix structural issues like loose railings and broken staircases that may lead to accidents. Schedule regular repairs and maintenance to keep your commercial property safe for employees, visitors and customers and protect your business from personal injury claims.
Clutter is a potential safety hazard. Keep high-traffic areas like aisles and stairways free of boxes and waste paper to minimize the possibilities of accidents and falls.
Workplace driving accidents cost employers an average of $60 billion per year. Make sure all vehicles used for business purposes are thoroughly inspected, repaired and maintained on a regular basis to avoid any accidents in transit.
Do not encourage overtime working. More often than not, overworked employees suffer from mental and physical exhaustion, increasing the chances of workplace accidents and injuries. Make sure you have adequate staff to improve the productivity and maintain a safe work environment for all.
See also: When Workplace Safety Is Core…
2. Create a Successful Employee Safety Program
According to OSHA, educating employees about accident and emergency response and other safety measures can reduce workplace injuries and disabilities by as much as 60%.
Conduct pre-employment tests to screen the most efficient, skilled and qualified individuals for the job. Train your workforce to follow safety practices and identify, report and effectively manage site-specific hazards, thereby empowering them to make safe choices.
Analyze your workplace for safety hazards and take effective steps to eliminate or control them. If you operate in the heavy machinery, construction or hazardous chemicals domain, make sure your workforce is using the proper safety equipment and protective gear.
In an office environment, make sure the housekeeping staff keeps the aisle free of debris and spills, reducing the risk of falls. Moreover, follow the ergonomic workplace standards that promote employee productivity, safety and well-being.
Routine safety and evacuation drills prepare employees for dealing with natural calamities like tornadoes, earthquakes and fire. It is critical to reinforce the safety measures at all employee meetings and training sessions.
Encourage a culture of safety by stressing the importance of complying with safety standards, thereby reducing the risk of workplace accidents and protecting your business from personal injury claims.
3. Invest in General Liability and Property Insurance
When accidents occur at the workplace, the injured employees, customers or visitors can easily file a personal injury lawsuit, imposing heavy fines on the business and damaging its reputation. Investing in liability insurance, however, can alleviate the financial burden of these lawsuits and maximize security for your business.
Thus, when faced with personal injury claims of negligence, property damage, libel, slander and advertising injury, you can rely on general liability insurance to protect your business against such claims and cover your legal fees and the medical and miscellaneous expenses.
To protect your company’s building and physical assets against fire, theft and accidental damage, it is advisable to invest in a liability insurance policy that includes property insurance.
4. Hire an Expert Business and Commercial Litigation Attorney
Personal injury claims not only cost the business money but also put its reputation at stake. Whether you own a small or a medium-sized enterprise or a large organization, it is critical to hire a business and commercial litigation expert who can offer you valuable insights when signing contracts and settling claims.
Personal injury lawyers know the personal injury claim process like the back of their hands and are updated on the latest health and safety laws. Thus, they can effectively represent you in court and advise you on the next steps, thereby ensuring that your business is adequately protected against such claims.
5. Know What to Do Once an Accident Has Occurred
Despite safety precautions, workplace accidents do occur, resulting in personal injury claims against the employer. When an accident occurs in your business premise, injuring one or more employees, you should know how to handle the situation.
First things first, seek emergency help for the people involved in the accident. Secondly, get in touch with your attorney, who can help you manage this situation in a professional manner.
Investigate the sequence of events that led to the mishap and record it in the form of pictures and videos. Ask the employees who witnessed the incident to give you a recorded statement about the accident and remember to note their names and contact details.
See also: Workplace Wearables: New Use of Big Data
Take Home Message
As a business owner, you should always be prepared for dealing with all unexpected events, including workplace injuries. Because personal injury claims severely damage the company’s reputation and eat into its bottom line, the best defense is to take pre-emptive, preventative steps toward minimizing the incidence of workplace accidents, thereby securing the business from such risks.
The information shared in this post will help you create a safe work environment for your employees and protect your business from pricey personal injury claims.